Definition of stilted in English:



  • 1(of a manner of talking or writing) stiff and self-conscious or unnatural.

    ‘we made stilted conversation’
    • ‘And then when I do just leap in and start writing, I realise how horribly stilted my writing sounds, and that I don't know where I'm going, and that I really should do some more planning.’
    • ‘In a stilted manner, he replied, ‘I didn't do too badly.’’
    • ‘I have had a few stilted conversations, feeling a little self-conscious and unsure, but I think with a bit of practice I will improve.’
    • ‘Everyday life currently seems to consist of one long round of awkward, stilted conversations.’
    • ‘If by good you mean the author manages to keep you turning the pages even though his writing is stilted and the characters are like stick figures, then yes, it was good.’
    • ‘The graphics in the 2D sections of the game don't look too bad, although some of the animations are pretty stilted.’
    • ‘Sweeping back his unruly fringe on a breezy hotel terrace, the burly White House veteran still has the demeanour of a veteran political campaigner, steely and unyielding behind his folksy southern manners and slightly stilted bonhomie.’
    • ‘If the weekend turned out to be a horrible mistake, at least I wouldn't have to endure five hours of strained stilted conversations on the return journey.’
    • ‘Although Mandy told the girls later that the lunch had ‘been very romantic’, the two-hour date saw the two behaving self consciously and chatting in a stilted manner.’
    • ‘I hate stilted, awkward conversations with someone to whom you should be able to talk absolutely naturally - particularly when, not so long ago, you were able to be completely yourself with that person.’
    • ‘Moreover, his public image was balanced somewhere between the effete decadence of a dandy and the stilted manners of an upper-class gentleman.’
    • ‘The show works best when it gives the illusion of spontaneity, but there is the occasional awkward, stilted conversation that is obviously neither natural nor scripted.’
    • ‘I used to teach English as a foreign language, in Bolivia, and believe me, I quickly learnt that even people with no English whatsoever quickly get confused by this kind of unnatural, stilted, contextless speech.’
    • ‘There were long periods with little to no dialogue, and what dialogue there was felt stilted and unnatural (but that may have been the intention).’
    • ‘The stilted, awkward conversation of the first ten minutes - as each circles, trying to discover the other's motives for the meeting - quickly gives way to a horribly compelling, recaptured intimacy.’
    • ‘This stilted comedy of manners lacks a framework around which to dress itself and, subsequently, has the feel and look of a second-rate sketch show to it.’
    • ‘Some of the dialogue is delivered in a stilted manner, and some of the plot devices a bit forced.’
    • ‘The intentionally boxy, stilted animation is arresting at first, until one is distracted by the content of the show itself.’
    • ‘The scriptwriter's Danish, right, and because they haven't corrected his dialogue a lot of it sounds really stilted and forced and unnatural.’
    • ‘The slightly stilted animation and cheesy synthesized pop music are here in all their glory.’
    strained, forced, contrived, constrained, laboured, laborious, stiff, self-conscious, awkward, unnatural, wooden, unrelaxed
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  • 2Standing on stilts.

    ‘villages of stilted houses’
    • ‘He will experience, together with 60 other fund raisers from across the country, the hospitality of local people in stilted houses in remote villages, as well as Ho Chi Minh city.’
    • ‘She will be staying with the Karen people in their stilted houses in the bamboo and teak jungle where there is no electricity.’
    • ‘Thereafter we began to shed the plantations and move into rainforest punctuated by stilted kampung houses and jackfruit trees.’
    • ‘It is a stilted glitch house that emerges- and one that maintains a different kind of funk- one that is cut off at every opportunity, one that is not free flowing, but one that demands attention.’
    • ‘You can stay in a grass hut with sunset views for a few pounds and it's wonderful, but for just shy of £50, you get into Bon Ton, a beautiful resort of antique stilted fishermen's houses overlooking a water-lilied lagoon.’
    1. 2.1Architecture (of an arch) with pieces of upright masonry between the imposts and the springers.
      • ‘An aperture in the back wall is incised in the form of an unmoulded stilted arch; there is one low table round which diners slump on leather pouffes; the other tables are covered in cloths of thick striped material.’
      • ‘The stilted arch, which is clearly identifiable in the watercolour, can still be seen when visiting Bowes Castle - three miles from the museum.’